Category Archives: failure analysis

MEE Staff Development

posted February 2020

Congratulations to MEE Associate Engineer, Henry Ahrenholtz, who recently passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam certifying him as an Engineer in Training (E.I.T.). The FE exam is the first of two exams required for obtaining a Professional Engineer license. Prior to taking the second exam, E.I.T’s must complete four years of qualifying engineering experience under the supervision of a professional engineer. We look forward to working with Henry as he moves forward towards professional licensure.

Larry Hanke and Dan Grice will be presenting a talk on A Historical Perspective of Fracture Analysis at the February 19 ASM Symposium at Hennepin Technical College.  The theme of the symposium is “Materials Retrospect: 100 Years of Advancement” in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the MN chapter of ASM International. Other presentations at the event will cover topics such as advancements in the casting industry, metal additive manufacturing and breakthroughs in nitinol in medical device design.

Larry and Dan’s presention will review the history of fractography, including the historical development of the science, changes in the analytical tools, and some historical case histories.
The effective use of materials in various engineering applications requires an understanding of material properties, including conditions of material failure. Fracture is behavior that must be taken into account. The study of fractures over the years has had an important role in materials engineering to improve product performance and reliability.

Dan Grice, P.E. and Larry Hanke, P.E.

Failure Analysis Seminar

posted August 2019

Senior Materials Engineer, Dan Grice, P.E., presented a two day seminar on Fractography and Failure Analysis at the office of one of our industrial customers.  The seminar covered technical information on fracture mechanisms and analysis through characterization of the macroscopic and microscopic fracture features.  Dan’s presentation included multiple case studies to provide a practical understanding of the analytical methods and laboratory tools a materials engineer uses in the failure analysis process.

Fractography and Failure Analysis Seminar

 

 

 

Materials Science Camp

posted July 2019

This was MEE’s 13th year as a sponsor of ASM International Materials Science Camp for high school students. ASM Materials Camp utilizes hands-on learning principles of applied math and science for a truly unique, team-based problem solving experience that explores materials science and engineering principles.

The students are assigned a failure analysis project on the first day of camp and spend a day in the laboratories at MEE examining their samples and gathering data.  They prepare their samples in the metallographic lab, view the microstructure using SEM and metallographic microscopes and perform Rockwell hardness tests all under the direction of  industry and education based Materials Mentors.

Three MEE staff, Larry Hanke, Kurt Schenk and Neal Hanke, were camp mentors for the entire week of camp.

Rockwell hardness test lab

Mentor, Kurt Schenk, enjoying the camp experience!

Sample Preparation in the MEE shop

Introduction to Scanning Electron Microscopy

Light Microscopy

Consulting ASM Handbooks

Materials Science Education

posted November 2018

This week, MEE hosted University of St Thomas Materials Science students in our laboratory. Students toured our metallography and light microscopy labs and were presented a brief introduction to scanning electron microscopy.

Staff engineer, Neal Hanke, arranged a display of some representative failure analysis projects to demonstrate the range of materials and failure modes we have investigated in our lab.

Corrosion and Failure Analysis

posted August 2018

The NACE International (National Association of Corrosion Engineers) Central Conference in Omaha is just wrapping up.  MEE staff engineers Ryan Haase and Neal Hanke have been taking turns attending technical presentations and talking to colleagues at the MEE booth in the exhibit hall.

This year’s conference location in Omaha, just a few hours drive from our Minneapolis location, was a good opportunity for us to discuss local corrosion issues and how MEE can assist in addressing these issues. One of the key benefits of partnering with MEE is our fundamental understanding of materials behavior, including mechanical and corrosion failure mechanisms.

Neal Hanke, P.E. , Materials Evaluation and Engineering

Corrosion Conference

posted July 2018

MEE engineers, Ryan Haase and Neal Hanke, will be attending the NACE International (National Association of Corrosion Engineers) Central Conference in Omaha on August 6-8. The technical program will include presentations on failure analysis and MIC, Microbiological Influenced Corrosion.  The MEE staff specializes in root-cause failure analysis. Our experience encompasses many types of material behavior and modes of failure including mechanical and corrosion mechanisms.

MEE will have a booth in the exhibit hall. Look for the booth with the cool microscope images of corrosion and MIC.

Profile of pitted area of a pipe wall.

MIC

 

Last Thursday we hosted thirty high school students at MEE  as part of a week-long Materials Science Camp sponsored by the MN Chapter of ASM International.  Under the direction of  industry and academic based “Materials Mentors”, students learned about the process of running a failure analysis investigation. MEE provided a space for the students to get hands on experience with sample preparation, Rockwell hardness testing, light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy.

 

 

Three of our staff, Larry Hanke, Kurt Schenk and Neal Hanke, were  camp mentors. This was MEE’s twelfth year sponsoring the camp.

Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

Alkaline Carbonate SCC Failures at a Refinery, co-written by MEE staff engineers, Ryan Haase and Larry Hanke was recently published in the Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention ( First Online: January 16, 2018)

A metallurgical evaluation was performed to investigate two failures from carbonate-containing sour water service at a refinery. The paper details the visual, SEM/EDS, metallographic, and microhardness evaluations used to determine the failure mechanism for each refinery component.

 

 

 

 

 

Failure Analysis

posted January 2018

“The greatest teacher, failure is.”
Yoda

Wind Generator Blade Failure

This line from the latest Star Wars movie caught our ear. Any product failure can have serious consequences – from financial loss and/or personal safety perspectives. The expertise of the MEE engineering and technical staff encompasses a fundamental understanding of material behavior and a broad range of experience with different materials and types of failure. Paired with our technical expertise in failure analysis is an understanding that there is often an underlying root cause of failure that may be of greater importance to mitigating or preventing similar failures or improving a product’s future performance.

There is a lot to be learned from failure. MEE is your partner in the determination of the cause of a failure to minimize future risk.

Filed under: failure analysis,